Don’t Make These Mistakes When Selling Your Car

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Selling Your Car

Weekly Wealth Staff
Dec 22, 2022

Although we all want to sell our cars quickly, nobody likes feeling rushed. However, many car owners often make the same mistakes that prolong the process and prevent them from earning what their vehicle is worth or trading it in quickly.

10 Car Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Disposing of your car doesn't have to be a stressful experience. By avoiding these common mistakes, you get the most money for your vehicle with the least hassle.

1. Creating Poor Advertisement

Your ad should always contain eye-catching language to increase the likelihood of someone contacting you. Be sure to include only the highlights about your car, such as its make, model, and year. It is essential to list the price of your vehicle as well as how interested buyers can get in touch with you.

Here are the top sites to post car advertisements:

  • Autotrader
  • CarGurus
  • Carvana
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • eBay Motors

Various methods to advertise your car are available. Some require a small fee, and others are free. You can also leave it parked in a highly commercialized area with a for sale sign so you don't need to drive it. The more ways you spread the news about your sale, the better!

2. Shrugging off Major Car Issues

Having a knock in your engine is never a good sign. It's best to get it fixed before potential buyers take it for a test drive. Repairing everything wrong with your car isn't necessary. It would be best to fix major issues with your vehicle before posting it for sale. Potential buyers might lose interest if your car’s engine is sputtering every time they come to look at it.

If you can't afford the repairs or don't have time for them, always be truthful about your car's condition to potential buyers. Don't try to hide any information, as it will only come back to bite you later. Being honest about the mileage, any accidents it was in, and the damage it has taken on or repairs needed can help you steer clear of legal trouble.

3. Taking Poor Quality Photos

If you want your auto to sell, you must have high-quality photos from all angles, inside and out. This includes the trunk, tires, and everything else! If you're not confident in your photography skills, ask a friend who knows their way around a camera to help you out. These pictures are vital in getting buyers interested!

People will be more likely to respond to your advertisement if you are honest about the condition of your car. Include pictures of any dents or scratches, as this will show that you are upfront about the vehicle's condition.

4. Accepting the First Offer Right Away

It may be tempting to accept the first offer for your car if you're anxious about getting rid of it. Even if it's less money than what you wanted, don't do it just for the sake of convenience. Show patience and wait for more offers if somebody is willing to pay closer to your desired amount.

You can also tell the buyer that you need some time to think about their offer, which is perfectly fine. If somebody makes a better offer at that time frame, accept it. Although it may not seem obligatory, letting the original interested party know that someone has made a higher bid shows politeness and gives them a choice to match the price before you move on.

There's no shame in being assertive and holding out for the price you want—you shouldn't have to accept a lowball offer.

5. Failing to Keep the Car Spotless

Your car's condition says a lot about you as an owner, and one of the first things prospects will notice is how clean it is. You can either do your best clean your auto thoroughly or bring it to auto detailing services. First impressions matter, so make sure your car shines like new!

If you're considering selling your car, it's worth getting it cleaned professionally. You'll likely get your money back with the sale. When potential buyers see how clean and well-kept your car is, they'll be more interested in buying it.

6. Setting the Price Too Low or Too High

There are two major mistakes you can make in terms of pricing when selling your car, t; listing it too high and scaring off potential buyers or pricing it too low and leaving money on the table. By being aware of these potential pitfalls, you can put yourself in a much better position to get top dollar for your vehicle.

Don't overprice your car if you want to get rid of it fast. Buyers can quickly tell if a vehicle is worth the value via research and will most likely pass on an overpriced car. If you're not careful about pricing, you might end up taking less money for the sale down the line.

7. Forgetting to Check Potential Buyer’s Credentials

No one wants an unlicensed driver taking their car for a spin. Luckily, you can effortlessly check any potential buyer’s driver's license online before selling them your vehicle. In various states across America, there's an online driver's license verification system where you can input the license number and see instant results on its validity.

Doing this quick validation can help you avoid bad situations. You don't want to get in trouble for giving your keys to an unlicensed driver or someone who could be a criminal.

8. Failing to Secure Maintenance Records

Having a complete record of your car's maintenance and repair history is reassuring to potential buyers. If you're good at keeping those, this task will be a breeze.

Can't find your car's maintenance records? Don't fret! The service centers that have worked on your car throughout the years should be able to send you copies of their records based on either your license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN.)

It's in your best interest to keep organized records. Aside from demonstrating that you maintain the vehicle regularly, it can also be proof of your trustworthiness. Interested buyers may be willing to pay slightly more for a car if they know its oil changes have been carried out every 3,000 miles without fail.

9. Sharing Personal Information

When meeting strangers and engaging them in a business transaction, it’s a good idea to provide some separation from your personal life. One of the best ways to do this is by getting a temporary cell phone number.

Looking for a way to make calls without revealing your real number? Here are five apps that can help:

  • Burner
  • Hushed
  • Line2
  • Sideline
  • TextMe Up

In this day and age of countless data breaches, security hacks, and payment scams, it's crucial to communicate anonymously when doing a transaction. Fortunately, there are a few ways to text and call without ever revealing your personal information.

10. Getting Scammed

The last catch you have to be aware of is people who want your car but have no intention of actually paying for it. There are many ways criminals can trick you into giving them your car without ever intending to repay you, such as through personal checks that bounce, fake cashier's checks, or counterfeit money.

Believe it or not, there are a ton of scams that circulate the internet and you don't want to be one of the individuals who fall for it—especially when selling your car. If you're not cautious, somebody could take advantage of you. It would be best to meet potential buyers in person and in a monitored place before moving ahead with any transactions.

Get the Most Out of Your Car

Selling a car doesn't have to be stressful as long as you avoid making these common mistakes. Do your research beforehand so that you know what your car is actually worth, and don't let emotions affect negotiations with potential buyers. Make your first car sale today!

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